Slowly Coming Together

Just 5 months and 2 days until the wedding. As far as plans go, I think we have most of the big things down. The church is booked, the reception hall is booked, the DJ is booked, the florist is booked, the cake lady is booked, and the dress is purchased. The last of the big things, the photographer, is almost booked. I went from being unable to find ANY photographer, to having 2 possible options.

Option #1 is Classic Photography by Kim Knauf, who came recommended by the wedding coordinator at the reception hall. I’ve looked at her sample photos on her website, and I like her style. She does proof CD’s, which I like; I anticipate putting up a copy of all the pictures on my gallery, once we get them. The only problem is, the package we would likely do, including the proof CD, would be about $2,200, which is a bit more than I was hoping to spend. And she would need $950 as a retainer to reserve the day, and I don’t keep that kind of cash just lying around.

Option #2 is Bosman Photography – his card showed up on Matt’s desk at home, so we’re not entirely sure who put it there. I’ve looked at the sample photos he has on his website, and his style isn’t bad, but I think I prefer the look of some of the photos from Classic Photography. His prices are much more reasonable, though; the package we would likely do would be between $1,400 and $1,650, depending on which proof CD or DVD we would get. I’m not sure what he requires for a deposit, either.

So therein lies my dilemma; I think I prefer the look of Classic Photography, but I’m not sure I’m willing to pay her rates. I am willing to pay the rates of Bosman Photography, but I’m not totally in love with his samples. What to do?

Doubletalk & Other Frustrations

I’m still working on wedding plans, and I just about have everything pinned down. We have the church, the reception hall, the DJ, the florist, and the cake booked, and the dress is hanging up in a closet at Matt’s sister’s place. The last detail we need to book is the photographer, and it is becoming quite difficult. I tried the photographer one of Matt’s co-workers is using for his wedding, but she’s already booked. The photographer that the florist recommended is being flaky – I’ve called her a few times, and she’s not returned my calls. I just heard back from the second photographer that the florist recommended, and I’m not terribly impressed with him, thus far. One of my requirements of any photographer is a copy of the negatives, preferably a digital copy. I don’t anticipate ordering a whole slew of prints from the wedding, but any prints I do get, will most likely be from the photographer. I’m not trying to get the digital negatives to usurp their position – I want to be able to post the negatives online at my gallery, so that friends and family can see the photos, even if they can’t get the hard copies. I specifically asked the second photographer about digital negatives, and here was his response;

Digital Negatives? This is included in large wedding packages. We try to keep very tight quality control and with weddings where only selected images have been retouched, it means we’re releasing copies of our work to potential low-quality output. Since we are a full-service studio, we like to keep our quality high through all stages.

Translation? We charge a hell of a lot for photos, and we’re not going to give you the negatives (so you can circumvent our outrageous prices) until we feel you’ve purchased enough photos. Maybe I’m being cynical, but I don’t think so. They HAVE a price list posted on their website, but in his email his said they didn’t. Perhaps it’s not the price list for WEDDINGS, but there’s a price list up. I’m hoping to get in touch with the first photographer, even if she is a bit flaky, just because we’re on a tight budget, and I think this second photographer is going to be out of our price range. Two of my co-workers actually do photography on the side, so I’ll also have to check them out and see what they charge.
My other frustration is people that don’t use email. I generally prefer email to just about all other contact mediums; it’s faster than mail, easier than arranging a face to face meeting, more productive than phone tag, and you can do it at any time of the day or night. Case in point – I’m trying to get in touch with the coordinator at the reception hall. I’m trying to arrange a meeting, in order to iron out a few details. I called her yesterday, and leave a voice mail asking to set up a meeting, with my phone number and other details. She calls this morning while I’m still asleep, and leaves a voicemail, with not much detail other than “This is so-and-so, call me back.” I call her back like an hour later when I get up, and she’s out of the office, and I leave ANOTHER voicemail for her. If she’d just used e-mail, she could have gotten my message, seen that I wanted to set up a meeting, checked HER schedule, set up the meeting and gotten back to me. But no, now we’re in that frustrating limbo stage.

Wedding Florists, part 2

Ok, I heard back from Shelly’s Designs, and they are completely booked up for October 6th. Bugger. The website for Flowers by Jo Ellen is still down, but I emailed her. Since yesterday, I found Michigan Wedding Solutions, which has been fairly helpful. Through that, I’ve discovered a few more websites, and am currently in the process of checking out rates and contacting them. So here are the new lists;

Flowers

Photographers

I am having severe issues with what some of these photographers charge. I was hoping to pay about $1,000 for the photographer and the photos, but that seems like maybe it’s terribly laughable. I know I want either the negatives, or a digital copy of the negatives, as I plan on putting them up on the gallery. Quite frankly, I feel if I’m paying them that much to take photos, it shouldn’t be an issue – I don’t want to pay a ransom for my wedding photos.

Wedding Plans

Ok, figured I’d post with wedding updates, most likely more for my benefit than yours. So far I have;

  • the dress
  • the reception hall
  • the church
  • the dj

We still need;

  • flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages)
  • invitations
  • cake
  • photographer

Currently I’m going through paperwork mom sent down – one of her co-workers had a daughter get married in Grand Rapids, and sent down the names and information of everyone they used. Thankfully the florist and photographer have websites, as they are fairly visual and I’d like to check out their work a little before I decide if I’m interested. The people I’m checking out right now are as follows;

Mom is down Thursday and Friday, so I’m trying to get as many appointments in that time period as possible, so we can check things out. Hopefully I can get an appointment at Shelly’s Designs for Thursday, because if we like her that would take care of the flowers and the invites.